“Open Streets DeKalb” is taking over Emory Village on Sunday, Sept. 29 with food and performers – including Rathskellar and a capella groups – during a three-hour suspension of vehicle traffic to promote human-powered transportation.

People are encouraged to bike, walk, dance and move around the village by means of transportation other than motor vehicles, said David Payne, a board member on the Alliance to Improve Emory Village (AIEV), as well as Emory’s senior director of operations for business and administration.

Payne said he encourages people to “reclaim” the streets. North Decatur Rd. will be closed between the Lullwater Rd. roundabout and the Village roundabout. South Oxford Rd. will also be closed between the roundabout and Clifton Rd. The roundabouts will remain open to traffic.

The event and the associated roadblocks will last from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Village restaurants will also take part in the event and be offering specials, according to Payne.

DeKalb County and AIEV are responsible for bringing “Open Streets DeKalb” to the Village. The event is based off of “Streets Alive,” a similar event that took place in Atlanta for several consecutive years, Payne said.

Though Open Streets DeKalb has previously taken place in Virginia Highlands, this year is the first time it will take place in the Village. Payne said he hopes this will become an annual event for the Village.

One way of reclaiming Emory Village is through human action, Payne said.

The event will involve many types of human-powered activities, including a cappella groups, a fire-dancing performance and a giant chessboard run by a local high-school chess team.

Emory students are encouraged to take part in human-powered transportation and to sign up to perform during the event.

According to Payne, performances may include musical, dramatic or any other talent one wishes to display and may take “anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours.”

AIEV is looking for jugglers, mime artists, debaters, musicians and comedians as examples of the types of talents for the event, according to their website.

“We are very excited for Emory Spirit to extend to the Village and will do our best despite stage fright knowing Doc Chey’s will be watching,” Joshua Jacobs, College junior and Rathskellar Emperor, said about the group’s upcoming performance this Sunday.

College junior David Shortell, speaking on behalf of the student a cappella group No Strings Attached, added that the group “loves performing in the community” and positively representing Emory.

Shortell added that the group “hopes to see a good crowd out there.”

To reserve a timeslot and location, prospective performers should contact Shane Mixon, the owner of Village restaurant Saba, prior to the event, according to the event’s website.

– By Naomi Maisel